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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Birth control injections for poor African women condemned by SPUC

18 November 2014

A new device for giving birth control injections to poor African women has been condemned by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a UK-based pro-life organisation with strong links to Africa.

SPUC was responding to the news that Sayana Press, a self-injectable version of the Depo-Provera, is to be sold at US$1 per unit. ("The one dollar contraceptive set to make family planning easier", BBC, 16 November 2014

The media has described the device as a "contraceptive". Like most forms of hormonal birth-control, however, Sayana Press/Depo-Provera can induce early abortions by making the lining of the womb hostile to newly-conceived human embryos.

In addition to its abortifacient mode, Sayana Press is dangerous for women. Risks include:

  • double the risk of HIV-1 infection
  • 2.2-fold increased risk of invasive breast cancer
  • permanent bone-density loss.  

A spokesperson for SPUC said: "Sayana Press is cheap and dangerous. Treating poor, black women like this is disgraceful."Obianuju Echeoka, a Nigerian women's advocate, said: "This is certainly not what African women have asked for. But yet in a world of shocking cultural imperialism, it is what our Western cultural masters have chosen to unleash upon us."

For the full comment, see


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